LOS ANGELES (VUAD)– Vanderbilt baseball jumped out to a four-run advantage and was able to get some insurance late, defeating No. 11 UCLA, 6-3, behind another solid start from Drake Fellows on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The right-hander improved to 2-0, scattering six hits while allowing three runs and fanning a season-best nine batters. The No. 15 Commodores (11-4) were held to a season-low four hits but took advantage of nine walks and two UCLA (10-3) errors.
Tyler Brown tossed the final two frames, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out four. The Bruins brought the winning run to the plate with two outs in the ninth before Brown sat down leadoff hitter Daniel Amarai for his first career save.
The Commodores jumped ahead in the opening frame, using a two-out, opposite-field single from JJ Bleday to plate Walker Grisanti. Vanderbilt taxed UCLA starter Jake Bird (1-1) for 32 pitches and sent six hitters to the plate in the top half. Vandy kept the pressure on Bird in the second, putting the first two aboard, including Julian Infante reaching on the Bruins’ second error of the game. Alonzo Jones followed, moving the pair into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Grisanti took the first pitch he saw into right for a sacrifice fly to score Jayson Gonzalez (leadoff single) from third. Ethan Paul then unloaded on a 2-1 pitch for a two-run home run for his 13th career long ball and a 4-0 VU advantage.
Despite running into trouble early, Bird lasted seven innings, allowing four unearned runs while walking three and striking out four in the loss. Two base hits, including a RBI-single from seven-hole hitter Jack Stronach put the Bruins on the board in the second. Two innings later, UCLA’s Chase Strumpf belted a two-run homer to center field, trimming the Vandy lead to 4-3.
For the third time in three innings, UCLA put its leadoff hitter aboard thanks to a double from Ryan Kreidler. After allowing runs the first two times, Fellows buckled down in the fifth. The sophomore retired three straight Bruins to keep the Dores lead intact.
Brown entered for the eighth, running into trouble of his own after a pair of one-out singles into left. The freshman responded, however, striking out back-to-back Bruins to strand the duo.
Vanderbilt returns to action on Saturday, heading across town to face USC. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT on the PAC-12 Networks. Left-hander Jackson Gillis (2-0, 3.72 ERA) will make his first-career start for the Dores. BOXSCORE
A 🔥 ROAD WIN!
FINAL | No. 15 #VandyBoys 6, No. 11 UCLA 3 ... the Dores are victorious from Westwood, Calif.
TOMORROW | at USC | 6 PM CT pic.twitter.com/21WfXwMJnS
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBaseball) March 10, 2018
— BC (@dbc5361) March 10, 2018